Save the Melksham Train
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Friday, 26th March 2010. Launch of TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. Bridge House, Trowbridge, from 19:30
An exciting new step forward to rejeuvenation of the line, its service and its use
BUSY, EXCELLENT MEETING ... see [here] for initial report
Train service remains dire - southbound from Swindon at 06:15 and 18:45, northbound from Westbury at 07:02 and 19:35. Please pledge your support if you would like to see an increase to six trains a day -
arriving Swindon at 07:48 08:53 11:50 14:50 17:36 and 20:19,
returning at 06:18 09:02 12:02 15:02 17:55 and 18:45.

Keynote for 2010

Forum archive ... Blog archive

Euston - Heathrow - Chippenham - Weymouth

When the Olympics come to Great Britain in 2012, some of the events are going to be quite distant from London; there will be heavy traffic, and the need for good connections, to places as far away as Weymouth where the Sailing events will be hosted. Wiltshire, with its strong "horsey" connections, will be busy with equestrian competitors and their entourages in the run up to the games, and the whole country will be filled with tourists. A good public transport infrastructure will be needed in order to handle this traffic ... and what better time to start putting the services into place than now.

Link Train service
From London Euston (for Channel tunnel link / St. Pancras)
Hayes and Harlington (for Heathrow)
via Chippenham Melksham and Westbury (Wilts)
to Dorchester and Weymouth (for sailing events)

From London
  To London
Read UP
07:30 d 12:30 d 17:30 d London Euston 09:45 a 15:45 a 20:45 a
07:36 d 12:36 d 17:36 d London Heathrow
09:33 a 15:33 a 20:33 a
07:50 12:50 17:50 Hayes and
09:25 15:25 20:25
08:15 13:15 18:15 Reading 09:00 15:00 20:00
08:10 d 13:10 d 18:10 d Oxford
09:00 a 15:00 a 20:00 a
08:30 13:30 18:30 Didcot 08:45 14:45 19:45
08:48 13:48 18:48 Swindon 08:25 14:25 19:25
09:03 14:03 19:03 Chippenham 08:10 14:10 19:10
09:15 14:15 19:15 Melksham 08:00 14:00 19:00
09:25 14:25 19:25 Trowbridge 07:50 13:50 18:50
09:30 14:30 19:30 Westbury 07:45 13:45 18:45
09:55 14:55 19:55 Castle Cary 07:20 13:20 18:20
10:07 15:07 20:07 Yeovil 07:08 13:08 18:08
11:00 16:00 21:00 Dorchester 06:15 12:15 17:15
11:15 a 16:15 a 21:15 a Weymouth 06:00 d 12:00 d 17:00 d
Read DOWN   Read UP
This table is an illustration of the service that COULD be provided and WOULD be used; indeed, it would provide a very useful and used service right now. No attempt has been made to "path" the trains in with existing services as they're up for review in any case in the Greater Western Franchise, but I HAVE carefully allowed a 45 minute turn-around at Weymouth to get best use of stock, and started the service from Euston where Mr Richard Branson's Virgin trains have a servicing facility for diesel trains used on long distance routes such as London to Holyhead.

Note how it also provides
  • An all-rail link from the West to Heathrow (no bus, no Central London).
  • Through services from Melksham and the Weymouth line to London.
  • A service from Reading and points West to Euston - a much better connected London arrival point than Paddington.
  • Commuter services from West Wiltshire to Swindon, Reading and Oxford.
  • Service to Euston for onward Eurostar connection at St Pancras.
  • Service to Euston for onward East Coast connections at King's Cross.
  • Direct service from Weymouth, Dorchester and Yeovil to Chippenham, Swindon, Didcot and Reading.
  • Excellent new connections from Trowbridge - home of companies such as Virgin Mobile, and the seat of West Wilts district council and Wiltshire County Council too.
The six daily journeys are provided with two train sets, each of which berths alternate nights in Weymouth and London. No new track would need to be laid or facilities added. "Just" a couple of trains given an extended life - I'm not even suggesting new rolling stock ;-)

How many passengers does a train need to make it viable? Wessex trains, who currenly operate the line through Melksham, say that they run 500 trains every weekday and carry 25000 passengers. So their average loading is just 50 people per train, spread along the whole of its route.

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